In this special column called the “TLC x Fempreneurs Series”, we will be featuring inspiring Female Entrepreneurs (Fempreneurs) in short. You will be able to have a sneak peek at their mindsets and their daily habits.
Believe in the power of community. On some days when you feel big goals are impossible, or when you feel like giving up, you need to lean on your like-minded community. You can even “borrow” motivation, and in turn “return” with your own inspiring stories to pay it forward.
Meet Vikki Tear (SoyCraft)
Tell us a little about yourself. What is your business/brand about?
The inspiration behind this brand SoyCraft – is my beloved little fluffy Pomeranian Soya. Prior to SoyCraft, I have been running my own beauty and wellness e-commerce store (www.NakedBlend.co) for years. As an existing e-commerce business owner who encountered some pain points (as a pet owner/pet product user), it was a very natural process for me to gravitate towards finding a solution for the dog-mum problem I was experiencing. As I go on with my day-to-day life with Soya, her lifestyle and habits further inspire me to continue conceptualizing pet product ideas. I want to continue crafting more aesthetic and functional pet goods which will benefit more pets and pet owners.
What got you started on your business?
It first started as a dog-mum problem. In early 2021, I was shopping around for a pet carrier to bring my pup out. The pet carriers I found locally were either not very aesthetic/stylish or lacking in some functionality. With most of the pet carriers I found locally, I still have to carry a separate bag to store my essentials, leading to an “extra burden” when I bring my pup out. Or they were either too hard and uncomfortable, or flimsy and lack of support for the pups.
There are more pet carrier options if I order them from overseas, however, it is either cumbersome to order or much more expensive due to high shipping costs (pet carriers can be quite bulky).
At that point, I thought to myself – if only there is a local pet brand that sells beautifully made, functional yet reasonably priced pet carriers, and can be easily accessible by the local community.
My concept was to have one which can be easily converted from shoulder carry to cross-body and even secure it safely to a dining chair when you are out eating with your pet. (Minimum 3-in-1 function pet carrier – and all these without losing style and comfort). Additionally, I want the pet carrier to have sufficient built-in storage to fit a pet owner’s essentials (wallet, phones, wipes, treats, diapers).
Most pet carrier retailers were made from China / better qualities from the US. Pet carriers from the US were thicker as they were designed for four seasons like winter.
From the worldwide increase in pet ownership to a dog-mum problem to noticing a product gap in the local market, I decided to craft my own brand of pet carriers by taking into consideration all the problems other dog mums and myself were facing.
Before you started on your business, what did you do on a full-time basis?
I came graduated with BSc (Hons) in Finance and used to work in the finance field. After I left the corporate world, I supported my sister in her FinTech startup as the Head of People, before starting my own business.
What were some difficulties you faced in your life and how did you overcome them?
I have always struggled with perfectionism. At work, I set high expectations for myself and the people I work with.
It is nothing personal, but not everyone can accept the same kind of work standards and may think I make things difficult for them. I used to beat myself up when people who cannot work at the same pace and standard as me, criticized my expectations on quality. I doubted myself and questioned if I should lower my expectations to fit in.
While I still don’t believe in lowering my expectations to fit in with the norms, I have learned to accept mini imperfections and improve the product along the way.
Over time, I also learned to let go of things or people who just aren’t meant to be. The right people will come to the right place and time, so long as we do not lose sight or give up. Right now, I am very thankful to be working with like-minded people who are on the same page as me.
Who inspires you?
My sister (Founder of PolicyPal – https://www.thepeakmagazine.com.sg/video/the-peak-power-list-2021-val-yap/). As a female founder surviving in the male-dominated fintech scene, she has built a brand and company through her tenacity, knowledge and creativity. She has proven to us that many challenges can be overcome, so long as you persist. If you don’t know it, figure it out. If you are scared, push yourself to try it. Today we see an increasing number of inspirational female founders who focus on diversity and collaboration to bring different ideas to the innovative scene and reinvent the meaning of success.
What is your vision / personal motto?
My personal motto is: What is done with love is done well. Whether it is for a personal endeavor or business, this is something I live by. So long as it is done with love and passion from within, your heart is in the right place to accomplish the task in mind well.
Do you have any word of advice for other ladies who are starting their business/ starting to pursue their dream?
Starting and scaling a business is not a small task. In the early months of starting out, you will likely face many struggles. Similar to what I shared earlier, if you are equipped with the 3Ps (Passion, persistence, be prepared to fall), your mindset is set for a good start.
While long-term goals are important, set yourself impactful and achievable actions that you can accomplish in the short term. This helps keep you on track and gives you opportunities to celebrate small wins as you grow with the business.
Next, trust your instincts especially when you are uncertain about a decision. Don’t be afraid to try – if a decision doesn’t work out, learn from it. Your skills will grow with your business.
Always find new ways to keep your business relevant. Meet new entrepreneurs, make new connections, find new ways to reach out to your customers, share experiences and skills via workshops and conferences.
Also do talk directly to your customers for feedback and get to know your target market well. Explore ways to not only provide wonderful services or products but also a high-quality and memorable experience.
Don’t be afraid to take well-thought-out risks, stay resilient, flexible, and keep pursuing your dreams.
How do you think you can help ladies to feel confident and empowered?
Have faith in yourself even on the toughest days. Ladies these days take on so many roles, albeit like a superhero minus the cape.
On good days where we feel achieved, let’s celebrate the milestones, small wins and note them down on a gratitude journal. You build your confidence as you look back on all your accomplishments.
On tougher days, do not be disheartened. Remind yourselves on the things you have accomplished, have faith in your strength, and push through.
What have you learned recently that you hope the other ladies can take back?
That our thoughts create reality and imagination is everything. It’s hard to believe but it has a grain of truth to it. Everything in this world operates on a law of cause and effect. Oftentimes facts are spoken into existence. A positive mindset is central to health and behavior and has been extensively researched by universities including Stanford. I personally have felt the difference in surrounding energy and vibe when you choose to think positive thoughts (half glass full or half glass empty) and speak kind positive words to yourself and others.
What is one thing you are grateful for?
Family love and support. It’s beyond words for me to describe how grateful I am for them. Over the years they have been my best cheerleader in life, whether it is personal or work matters.
What do you do in your free time as self-care? How do you unwind?
I used to have problems unwinding and suffer from severe founder’s guilt. When my mini Pomeranian dog entered my life, I never expected a tiny 1.5kg being to have the power to change me. My husband often jokes that she (my puppy) is the only living thing that can make me turn off my laptop willingly.
Nowadays, I unwind by snuggling with my puppy on the sofa, catching a show with my husband. We also enjoy strolls in the Botanic Garden. Slow walks and hearty talks in the park really force me to take my mind off work and clear my mental headspace.
Let us know more about what you do!
SoyCraft dog carriers and cushions are meticulously crafted, comfy, and intuitively designed. They are made of 100% pure cotton and are free from toxic chemicals. Shop our organic cotton pet accessories to find one that fits your pet’s size and your personality. Let your pet travel in therapeutic comfort and relaxation.
You may find us featured on BILLIONAIRE, Women’s Weekly, Mamahood, Empirics Asia, Enterprise Zone.cc, and Cosmetic-Design Asia.
Connect with SoyCraft!
1 winner stands a chance to win 1 of SoyCraft’s pet carriers worth S$180!
𝐇𝐨𝐰 𝐭𝐨 𝐏𝐚𝐫𝐭𝐢𝐜𝐢𝐩𝐚𝐭𝐞 𝐢𝐧 𝐭𝐡𝐞 𝐈𝐧𝐬𝐭𝐚𝐠𝐫𝐚𝐦 𝐆𝐢𝐯𝐞𝐚𝐰𝐚𝐲:
Like the Instagram post.
Follow @soycraft.co and @theladiescue on Instagram.
Tag a friend who has a pet and comment why you’d love to win this!
Are you a Fempreneur too?
Connect with us – we’d love to feature you! Say hi to us at email@example.com or reach out to us via our social media.
Read TLC x Fempreneur Series:
- Margaret Wu, For Beloved One
- Nerissa Low, Liht Organics
- Pearline Foo, Spring Breeze Marketing
- Anna Milani, Sparkd
- Maddy Barber, Madly Gems
- Ezza Yusof, 2morrow Official (Malaysia)
- Julie Yim, Lilin+Co (Malaysia)
- Nadia, HelloBello (Malaysia)
- Zairin Azman, UMMA (Malaysia)
The rest of the Fempreneur interviews can be found here.